Types Of Neglect & Abuse
Nursing home abuse and neglect are far too common in the United States. The National Center on Elder Abuse estimates that as many as one to two million seniors over 65 years old have been abused by those who they depend on for their care. With the senior citizen population in the U.S. rapidly growing, the incidents of elder abuse and neglect are expected to increase as well.
Many seniors living in care facilities are unable to communicate any abuse, and since many do not have friends or relatives to visit them regularly, countless incidents of abuse go unreported. If a friend or loved one is living in a nursing home or other facility, visit them frequently and pay attention to anything that seems amiss.
Common injuries caused by substandard nursing home care include:
- Falls and other trauma
- Medication errors
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Mental abuse
- Pressure sores (also referred to as bed sores and decubitus ulcers)
- Wandering and elopement
- Clogged breathing tubes
- Improper tracheostomy care
- Improper restraint
- Infection and sepsis / septic shock
- Injuries that require emergency treatment or hospitalization
- Bed sores (pressures sores, decubitus ulcers)
- Open wounds
- Mechanical lift injuries
- Unusual and unexplained bruises
- Significant weight loss
- Broken bones
- Unusual and unexplained lethargy or sedation
- Significant changes in medication
- Urine and fecal odors
- Poor personal hygiene
- Unexplained or unexpected death
- Cuts, bruises or welts
- Illnesses or condition changes that are not promptly reported to the physician and family
About Abuse & Neglect
WHAT IS NURSING HOME NEGLECT?
National Citizens Coalition for Nursing Home Reform (NCCNHR) reports that “Neglect is the failure to care for a person in a manner, which would avoid harm and pain, or the failure to react to a situation which may be harmful. Neglect may or may not be intentional.” NCCNHR points out that an example of neglect includes care givers, who may actually mean well, but are poorly trained and do not know how to provide proper care. NCCNHR provides examples of neglect:
- Incorrect body positioning – which leads to limb contractures and skin breakdown.
- Lack of toileting or changing of disposable briefs – which causes incontinence and results in residents sitting in urine and feces, increased falls and agitation, indignity and skin breakdown.
- Lack of assistance eating and drinking – which leads to malnutrition and dehydration.
- Lack of assistance with walking – which leads to lack of mobility.
- Lack of bathing – which leads to indignity and poor hygiene.
- Poor handwashing techniques – which leads to infection.
- Lack of assistance with participating in activities of interest – which leads to withdrawal and isolation.
- Ignoring call bells, call lights, or cries for help.